Your success as a small business owner is the result of years of hard work and trust-building within your community. You've worked day and night to make a name for yourself and to build a brand that's associated with quality products, trustworthy service, and overall reliability.
The people you hire should also have a deep-seated understanding of your business' core values, goals, and standards, as your team is a further reflection of your brand.
So, before you contract your sister's neighbor's son who makes websites in his basement after his shift at Pizza Hut, or hire your cousin who runs a foodie Instagram account that has a few thousand followers, take a moment to reflect on all the work you've put into crafting your business and your brand.
Ask yourself, "Are they the right fit for this position and this company? Do I trust them with my brand?"
Building Your Internal Team
You may think that assigning your marketing activities to your Office Manager (or Director of Business Development, or Human Resources Coordinator, or Bookkeeper, etc.) is a great way to save a few bucks while still getting the work done. In our experience, it doesn't quite work out that way. There's a couple of reasons:
- Being Office Manager is its own full-time job which doesn't leave much, if any, time to dedicate to marketing activities.
- The person in that position likely has no experience building or executing effective marketing strategies.
If you can't pass off marketing activities to someone who already works for you, hiring your Insta-famous cousin may seem like the next-best solution. If they have tens of thousands of followers, they obviously have a decent grasp of how to gain and keep an audiences' attention, right?
While there is definitely some truth to that, there's more to marketing than racking up a high follower count on one social media platform.
In this scenario, your cousin/potential job candidate runs a successful foodie account. If your business sells a highly technical product or service, are they going to be able to engage with a professional audience on LinkedIn? Are they going to be able to identify the questions your audience is searching for and write compelling blog content that provides the answers?
Are they going to be able to craft a landing page that not only captures leads, but that matches the rest of your site and is easily found from relevant web pages? Are they going to be able to write a video script that is both informative and sounds natural?
Inbound Marketing is specifically defined as a set of tactics. It's not just one activity or even two, but a series of actions that all go together to create a successful marketing strategy. You need to know which steps you need to take and how they integrate with each other.
Not only that, you have to know the best practices for each tactic.
A plumbing company wouldn't hire an unlicensed technician. A technology-based organization wouldn't hire someone who has never owned a computer. A reputable law firm wouldn't hire a "lawyer" who has no license to practice and hands out legal advice like candy.
So why would you trust your brand with someone whose only experience with marketing is watching the commercials during the Super Bowl or promoting their restaurant blog on Instagram?
We've said it before and we'll say it again: you can't dabble in Inbound Marketing.
If you already have a Marketing Director and you're looking to outsource some tasks that they can't execute on their own (like web design), or if you want further expand your team by partnering with an agency, this is another choice you have to make wisely.
You can get a new website by hiring your sister's neighbor's son, but you might find that he just can't provide the kind of professional design you need. Will your sister's neighbor's son take the time to really immerse himself in your brand to make sure he truly understands every element of the company you've built?
How much time does he spend identifying conversion points and mapping out sales funnels before jumping into design? Are the sites he builds designed or are they just pretty? Will they ultimately deliver a site that meets your needs right now, or will they have the foresight to build a site that can grow, scale, and change with your company?
These same types of questions go for any agencies you're considering. You want this expansion to be an improvement on your your current team, not a burden on them.
You need to partner with an agency that:
- Has been in the industry long enough to know what works (and what doesn't)
- Will build a strategy that's intended for long-term growth of your business
- Can help guide you on the right activities and messaging
- Generates quality leads that are highly likely to go on to become customers
- Works alongside you to establish your business as the industry expert who's still going to be around and relevant 40 years from now
- Can demonstrate measurable results
Fair warning: a company like this probably won't come particularly cheap, so just remember: with web design and digital marketing services, you get what you pay for.
Trust Your Brand With the Pros
The basic tasks we've mentioned throughout this article aren't particularly complicated—anyone can write a blog, create a landing page, send an email, post to their social media accounts, or even find a Wordpress template and publish a basic website—it's the discovery, strategy, reporting and iteration behind those tasks that take true skill, experience, and know-how.
It is in these steps that the real marketing and web design experts separate themselves from the marketing and design "professionals."
We're Doers, Not DabblersWe might be a little biased, but we think you should trust us with your brand. Here's why:
- We've got 96 years of combined experience. (Seriously. We checked.)
- We've got degrees in marketing, design, web development, journalism, communications, and more.
- We can demonstrate results.
- Our standard is excellence without compromise.
- We believe in partnering with our clients to help grow their businesses.
- You can get all of us for less than the cost of hiring just one additional person to your team.